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Author Topic: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless  (Read 29441 times)

axelbadde

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2015, 03:32:08 PM »

I bought the GH pro in december 2014 from an onlie retailer in sweden: http://www.benrosverige.se/sv/kulleder/sunwayfoto-gh-pro-gear-head.html

I must say i am very happy with it, compact, light, precise and cheap. Would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with the manfrottos, dont knw how it compares with the arcas though.
I use it with an a7r, L bracket and tilt-shift lenses.

/Axel
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2015, 04:23:54 PM »

Hey there Axel,

Thanks for that user feedback. Do you have any comments on the two issues raised by the USA importers? I'd like to give the GH Pro a try but wouldn't want the hassel of 'known' problems.
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Ken Doo

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2015, 10:13:34 AM »

I find it ironic that the US distributor----or at least comments within this thread that are attributed to them, not only acknowledge the existence of the GH-Pro, but also comment on shortcomings to this tripod head?  The US distributor flat out told me this head was NOT in production and NOT available. I made the effort to point out the it appeared the head was indeed in production and available by overseas distributors. The replies I received were "stonewalled" and not helpful to say the least. A complete waste of my time.  Sunwayfoto themselves and the Israeli distributor were very responsive to my questions and pointing me in the right direction.

That being said, I did receive the GH-Pro geared head (the one claimed not in production)  ::)

There is absolutely no problem with lateral movement, or any movements on the head itself.  As to "head lift" or movement on the head itself with camera attached, there may be very slight movement, if you're trying to induce movement. This was on a heavier camera setup and probably not the rig I would be using or choose for this tripod head. Will it work and be "ok" with a heavier camera? Probably yes, as long as you're not in the habit of grabbing the camera and shaking it while you shoot.  ;)  On a smaller camera system, this really isn't an issue.  MIrrorless cameras?  Sony A7r?  No problem whatsoever.  The point to realize here is that the capacity of this geared head is limited---it's not meant to compete against the likes of the Cube or a BH-55. (I also would not be using these on a mirrorless camera either!)  The trade-off is size and weight---much as stability in heavier legs are traded for a smaller set of tripod legs for hiking.

I do like the much larger knurled adjustment knobs on the GH-Pro compared to the relatively small knobs on the Cube.  If you're looking for a lighter weight and inexpensive geared head, and recognize its capacity limitations, this is it, if not for any reason than it's the only game in town. But if you're expecting an AS Cube killer, you will indeed be sorely disappointed.  I will probably also acquire the bigger and heavier KPS T5 geared ball head to compare. It is much more expensive and heavier, but its stated capacity places it more in the realm of the larger AS Cube. I haven't made a decision yet on if the GH-Pro suits my personal needs yet.

ken

provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2015, 09:24:50 PM »

Thank you very much Ken!

That is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping to garner on the head bearing in mind it isn't something I can check out at the local store.

My use will be 1DS MkIII and 17TS-E, not a huge load and certainly no field camera, but a bit more than the Sony's. The Cube and D4 are just overkill for the job and I really don't want the weight more than anything.

As a last question, how long did it take to get to you, I have stuff currently on order from China that has been 'in transit' for nearly two months already.
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axelbadde

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2015, 03:23:02 PM »

Sorry for the late reply. I have never felt any of that kind of head lift movement. I always carry the head with me in a bag together with a sirui travel tripod and after 3-4 months it still feels like it was new.

/axel
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2015, 04:52:57 PM »

Thank you too Axel,

That is all the positive comments I could hope for, three actual users and they are all happy. Looks like Sunwayfoto have another sale........
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Ken Doo

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2015, 09:44:15 AM »

I have the 1Ds Mark III---haven't tried it on the GH-Pro, and never intended to either. That being said, I consider the 1DsMarkIII to be a lerger camera, particularly with its built-in battery grip. You may be pushing the limits of this light-weight geared head.  I've used the GH-Pro with a Cambo WRS technical camera and IQ180 with no problems, but this is a lighter rig than a large DSLR. I would think a lighter or small DSLR would not be an issue.  And obviously as the OP was seeking an option for a mirrorless camera, the GH-Pro is more than capable for these types of small lightweight rigs (Sony, M4/3, etc).  I may be selling my GH-Pro as I have become so conditioned to using lever release clamps; the GH-Pro uses a knob on top. Or my son gets a really nice second tripod head for his Sony A7II.  ;D

Shipping from China to CA was just over two weeks or so.

ken

provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2015, 10:16:23 AM »

Thanks for that follow up Ken. I am still pretty bullish on the idea of the GH Pro, if you decide you are going to sell it then PM me.
Many thanks for all the helpful information from everybody.
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Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2015, 03:33:59 PM »

Finally got the Sunway.  I ordered it the last of January, took it almost a month to get here.   Ordered through the Chinese Ali listed in a post in this thread.
 It is just as described.  I have the arca D4 side by side with it, so comparisons are hands on.  The Sunway is somewhat stiffer, although the instructions on the Arca say that it will be stiff for a few uses. The Arca has two spirit levels on the mounting plate, the Sunway has one bubble in the bottom of the Arca style clamp.

The gearing seems to be better on the Arca, but why not for an extra $800?  I am debating on keeping one or the other.  If I decide to sell the Sunway,  I paid $399 for it, which I seem to remember is less than the ebayer.

I will post again when I have had a camera on both.
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2015, 04:08:52 PM »

Herbc, if you get a chance I'd be interested in images that show the two heads next to each other for a size comparison.
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Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2015, 12:44:32 PM »

Ok, got photos of both.  After messing around with both, I come to the conclusion that the Sunway is the winner.  After an hour or two, it loosened up  nicely, and I see  two differences between it and the Arca (beside the $800 price diff): the Arca has two nice bubble level on the side which can be used after you mount the camera, and the gearing is nicer.

The sunway weighs a bit less, which is also a plus.
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WkDave

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2015, 02:54:20 PM »

I'm considering the GH-Pro as a replacement to the Manfrotto 410 I'm currently using (mainly for size and weight savings). It's rated capacity is significantly more than that of the 410 - yet Ken you don't feel it'd be sturdy for a Canon pro body and TS lenses? Mostly it'd be a gripped 5dmk3 with the likes of a 17tse or 16-35/2.8 mounted - possibly a 70-200/2.8 II (though I haven't found need for that combo yet). Just trying to iron out the perceptions before plunking down the cash.

I'm new and found you guys to be the only ones with experience discussing this head - so pardon my interruption.
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Ken Doo

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2015, 03:37:04 PM »

Personal tastes or subjectivity enters the equation here.

Imo, whenever you are trying to lighten the load, for example, a lighter tripod-head combination for hiking----there are inevitable compromises. As nice as a smaller RRS or Gitzo traveler tripod is, it simply can't offer the same stability as a RRS 3 or 4 series or a Gitzo 5 series. The same applies with tripod heads. The GH Pro is lighter than its other geared cousins, and in some cases like the Cube, substantially lighter. If you enter in with the mindset that the much lighter GH-Pro, at a fraction of the cost, should perform at the same level of the AS Cube---you will be sorely disappointed. But if you recognize the limitations of a lighter set-up, you will be fine. I wouldn't be shaking this rig around or expecting the same stability in the wind as a heavier rig.  The weight/size of the camera to be mounted can/will make a difference as well, including subject matter and photography style (how steady are you when the shutter is tripped?). For a smaller camera, such as a mirrorless camera, I don't think these will be issues at all. But as you start loading up a tripod, you do start pushing its limits.

ken

Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2015, 04:56:47 PM »

Dave, I had the Arca C1, found it to be heavy and too fiddly.  The D4 is a very nice alternative if you can justify the cost.  I had no  problems with the Sunday GH, but  I am not using it on my D800E, although I will give that a go soon.
I have stated before, the Arca has noticeably better gearing and fit and finish, but I do not think the Gh would be a problem, especially compared to the other stuff  on the market.
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2015, 06:23:00 PM »

I just got my Sunwayfoto GH-Pro and I put it to work immediately with the 1Ds MkIII and the 100mm L Macro for some product shooting. It is exactly what I was looking for and am very happy with the performance.

My other intended use is with the 17mm TS-E and I put that on there too to test it out. It balances better with the 17 than with the 100 even with the Wonderpana on the 17, I might use the 100 with a nodal rail to better balance the setup, but probably not.

So about the mysterious 'lifting' issue. Well this is a geared head and if you grab hold of the camera and wiggle it you will get the intrinsic give as the worm gear and main gear move from one side of their thread groove to the other, does it look bad? I suppose it could if you don't understand the engineering, but at this point I do not believe it impacts the image quality and certainly not for strobe illuminated products. As a former engineer I would venture to say the lateral gearing lock doesn't have a through shaft and allows a touch more movement than it needs to, but again, you have to force it to do it and 'at rest' there is no give or wobble, and zero 'lift' even when forced.

I have no hesitation in recommending it after a days use if you are pragmatic about what you are buying, it is not a $1,200 piece of European high end engineering, it is a very good value solution for many of us looking for a smaller and lighter geared head.

I am a more modest person than many here, I cannot easily justify a D4 in price and as I intend to travel with the GH-Pro I appreciate the size and weight saving, but I'd be dishonest if I didn't acknowledge that the price is the most attractive feature, though it can't be the be all and end all of the purchasing decision, after all if it can't do the job is is worse than useless. If in the longer term I find the GH-Pro isn't the tool for me the only other solution I see for my my specific want list is saving the pennies for that D4.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #75 on: February 28, 2015, 08:44:23 PM »

This geared head interests me, but I am having a hard time figuring out just how large, or small, it is. Can you compare it to a ball head, like a BH-55?

I just don't know if it would be way to big for a small travel tripod, or way too small for a Gitzo 3-series systematic. I could see using it for travel work with small cameras if it were small-ish, or on the Gitzo for architectural work if it were biggish.
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2015, 09:22:53 PM »

Here is the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro next to the Acratech GP. The Acratech is a superb travel head, indeed I use it most of the time for most things!
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WkDave

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2015, 10:53:36 PM »

Thank you Ken, Herb and provate - I really appreciate you guys taking the time to share your experiences and respond to our questions. I certainly understand the trade-offs being made between size/weight and stability. The D4 is an option, but the pragmatist in me says if the sunway can meet my needs - then I'd rather go that route. At the same time if the head can't handle the potential 7-8lbs I might throw on top of it then the D4 might be the only option.
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provatebydesign

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2015, 11:40:04 PM »

Hi there Dave,

My 1Ds MkIII and 100L Macro is 4lbs, and it works great with that, the 1Ds MkIII and 17TSE with Wonderpana is 5lbs and it actually balances better with that. I don't think I'd want to use it with 8lbs particularly if the setup was unbalanced.

Just for laughs here is the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro with a 300mm f2.8, 1.4X TC, and the 1Ds MkIII at 10.5lbs, the gears get pretty tight but if I was setting it up one time for a composition and leaving it, like for a bird nest situation, I'd use it, but it is well past the optimal load and there is no way I'd use it with that kind of load, even a well balanced one, anything but rarely.

4-5lbs seems fine, but 6-8lbs might be a bit much on a regular basis particularly if it is unbalanced.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #79 on: March 01, 2015, 08:42:45 AM »

Thanks for the photos, they really help.
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